Understanding Trust in Financial Services: The Influence of Financial Healthiness, Knowledge, and Satisfaction

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Although the financial crisis has elevated the interest for factors such as consumer financial healthiness, broad-scope trust, financial knowledge, and consumer relationship satisfaction, no existing model describes how these factors may influence consumer financial relationship trust. This research extends prior research by developing a conceptual framework explaining how these constructs affect consumers' trust in their financial service provider. Based on two surveys comprising 764 pension consumers and 892 mortgage consumers, respectively, the results of this study indicate that financial healthiness, broad-scope trust, knowledge, and satisfaction positively affect narrow-scope trust in financial services. Furthermore, it is found that broad-scope trust negatively moderates the relationships between financial healthiness and narrow-scope trust and between satisfaction and narrow-scope trust, respectively. In addition, the results marginally indicate that broad-scope trust negatively moderates the relationship between consumer financial knowledge and narrow-scope trust. This study encourages public policy makers, consumer organizations, and financial service providers to continue, improve, and/or develop consumer financial education programs and also encourages consumers to participate in such programs. This is especially important when broad-scope trust is low. Also, when broad-scope trust is low, financial service providers should consider devoting additional resources in satisfying their customers and/or in improving their financial healthiness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Service Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)280-295
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Financial Services
  • Financial Healthiness
  • Broad-Scope Trust
  • Financial Knowledge
  • Satisfaction
  • Narrow-scope-trust

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